Quizzes on the Net
by Graham Brown

The lecture hall seems to echo with footsteps of the past as a scruffy professor with wild white hair shuffles in ...

Suddenly all is black. A follow-spot shines down on the Anaemic Academic ... music rises ... and a vast cinemascope screen, high above, smoothly teletypes a question in letters 10 feet high. Below are 4 answers A B C & D. The students nervously finger their infra-red selectors ... The professor speaks over the rising symphonic chords ... "50/50 or phone a friend?"

A horrifying glimpse of Tony Blair's desperate 4th term policy of promoting Chris Tarrant to Education Secretary? No ... Fact is ... the pass marks of mechanical engineering students at Strathclyde University have been increased dramatically by a unique new pilot scheme. From last Autumn ... at key parts of lectures, students were asked to pick answer A, B, C or D from a selection on a large overhead screen - if the majority got it wrong, the topic had to be gone over again. So lets get some instant education of our own ... come with me to 7 "Mini-Lectures" on the net and stock up on a baffling array of teasers to impress your friends. 
(Answers at bottom of page)

Mini Lecture No 1 - Bats
Venue - University of California

Sample question -
1. Bats really are blind.

Description - 9 questions starting with the classic one above! Become a Batmaster in just10 minutes.

Mini Lecture No 2 - History
Venue - University of Saskrtehewan

When did the Bolsheviks come to power in Russia?

A 1905
B 1917
C 1937

Description - Your question master here is no grinning DJ but Professor Davel de Brou. All good fun though. Your answers are dealt with in conversational style with no "is that your final answer?" teasing 

Mini Lecture No 3 - Energy Related Issues
Venue - The Energy Information Centre

Sample question - During 1998, combustion of fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum, natural gas) was responsible for how much of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States?

A 20 percent
B 40 percent
C 60 percent
D 80 percent

Description of Lecture - "Take a break from your busy day! Allow yourself a few minutes to test your knowledge of energy-related issues" writes your Lecturer Ingrid Springer. Despite the subject matter, this is good fun. You will find lots of rather surprising facts here. 

Mini Lecture No 4 - Ancient Egypt
Venue - www.rom.on.ca/quiz/egypt/index.html

Description of lecture - Lots of interesting pictorial questions in the "what did this funny object do?" style. 

Mini Lecture No 5 - Lightning Safety Quiz
Venue - Boston Museum of Science
Sample question - 5. The greatest number of people who die from being struck by lightning are 

A. Golfers
B. Fisherman
C. Farmers
D. Joggers

Description of lecture - Great fun plus some useful tips!

Note, this next quiz has disappeared from their site! We have emailed them to find out where it is!
Mini Lecture No 6 - Clouds
Venue - Boston Museum of Science
(link not working when last checked)
Sample question -
Description of lecture - Impress all and sundry with your knowledge of err . clouds! The quiz consists of cloud pictures followed by four possible cloud types. Classic WWTBAM style. 

Note, this next quiz has disappeared from the entire internet, we are trying to find it! If you can, then let us know, that's a kind of quiz anyway! And there is always the question we sampled to try ...
Mini Lecture No 7 - Music Lyrics Quiz
Venue - www.gallery.uunet.be/vdeb/lyrics.htm
(link not working when last checked)
Sample question - Seventies: lyrics snippet number 1: 
She can kill with a smile/ She can wound with her eyes/ She can ruin your faith with her casual lies /And she only reveals what she wants you to see 

A Billy Joel, She's Always A Woman
B The Hollies, The Air That I Breathe
C Billy Joel, Piano Man
D Ringo Starr, You're Sixteen
E Thin Lizzy, The Boys Are Back In Town

Description of lecture - I quote from the site . "This quiz isn't designed to be easy. It isn't designed to be hard. It's designed to be fun!" - That fits our remit! Each question is a short excerpt from a certain song, along with alternative answers. If you get 'em all, you can call yourself by the honorary title Misstra Know-It-All! You can also enter the Music Lyrics Quiz Hall of Fame.

After those 7 small quizzes you might want to try some bigger, faster and flashier ones, and so you think you know it all is a good place to start. Quizzes are played against the clock to win prizes. They are all free-to-enter quiz web sites with multiple prizes. It's a fun, fast and interactive experience in an exciting testing environment, where you can pit your wits against the clock. Score 1,000 points and gain entry into many different exciting prize draws. The best entrants will also win cash prizes for topping the leaderboard.You can play as many times as you wish to try and improve your position on the leaderboard. You can interact with the site by adding your own general knowledge, footballing, music, film, sport or formula one questions. If accepted you are then credited with being the 'questionmaster' each time their question appears on the site.

If you are interested in setting more questions and doing it on your own webpages then go to the brilliant website, uhaweb.hartford.edu/kelley/quiz/quizmaker.html which is a site where you can create your own quizzes! Dave Kelley is the programmer and he warns me that it was a very early effort. The program writes ... a program! Pretty clever early effort I would say!

And finally ... After all that work! Have some fun at the brilliant www.uselessknowledge.com. It's got Trivia, Quotes, Quizzes, History, Useless Facts and More! If you have ever wondered ... What animal has the largest eyes? . Why do the stars twinkle? . And why are Blue Jeans sewn with Orange thread? Then this is the site for you. It has also got a stack of those infuriating matchstick puzzles. You know the type - move one match to create a square or something.

Use them on your friends in the pub when everyone is pissed! But beware ... If you see a guy with wild white hair making notes put the matches away. Unless of course you want your next car to be designed by students trained using projections of 10ft high matchstick puzzles

Have fun!

1 Batquiz False - Though they don't see in colour, they see better than we
do at night! And, many bats can "see" by sonar
2 History Quiz B 1917 when the battleship Aurora fired on the winter palace
in Petrograd (Leningrad)
3 Energy Related Issues
D 80 percent
5 Lightning Safety Quiz
C. Farmers
7 Music
Billy Joel, She's Always A Woman.


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